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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Commerce Department Provides Critical Capital to Boost Minnesota Aviation Sector

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $1.4 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) and The Northspan Group, Inc. of Duluth, Minn., to recapitalize a revolving loan fund to provide critical capital to aviation industry suppliers and vendors and other businesses in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties. The project is expected to create 217 jobs and generate $4.3 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"Through our Economic Development Administration, we are able to provide funding to local communities to enhance job creation, economic growth and industry competitiveness," Locke said. "This grant will support job creation and the aviation industry in Duluth by encouraging entrepreneurship and facilitating further business growth and development."

"The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, along with its local match funding partners, is ready to leverage this new revolving loan fund investment to encourage private sector investment for the creation and retention of jobs in the Arrowhead region," said Bob Fenwick, ARDC Chair.

The revolving loan fund will be partially targeted to aviation industry suppliers and vendors at the outset. It will also provide financing to other types of businesses that save or create jobs in the Arrowhead region.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):
This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation.